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You can now easily search for United award availability with interactive map

July 13, 2021
4 min read
You can now easily search for United award availability with interactive map
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Just last year, United added an interactive map to its site, allowing you to search by destination, activity or cheapest price — a unique tool if you don't have your eye set on a specific destination. At that time, the map was limited to just revenue flights and didn't have the option to pull up pricing if you wanted to use your United miles.

However, as first reported by Live and Let's Fly, you can now use the same interactive feature if you're looking to book your United-operated flight with MileagePlus miles. With the map, you can search for round-trip or one-way awards, while selecting the maximum number of miles you are looking to spend. You can also include travel interest filters which allows you to search for your desired vacation — including beaches, culture, national parks, skiing & snowboarding, and more.

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With a pretty open calendar for the rest of 2021, I put the tool to the test to see if I could find any great options for my family. With an interest to travel outside of the United States, this is the perfect tool to compare a ton of destinations in one search.

Being Boston-based, I entered my home airport code (BOS), capped my mileage at 30,000 (for a one-way trip), and then clicked Search. I moved the map around to the Caribbean and South America as well as Europe to see if anything popped up. I was intrigued to see that Lisbon priced out at just 24,400 miles, where all other European destinations were 30,000 miles.

To see more flight details, I clicked on the date link and was brought to the typical United booking engine, where I saw all flight options between the two city pairs and award pricing at all different class levels.

Unfortunately though, the routing for this particular flight was less then ideal — with a layover of over 11 hours in Newark (EWR). All other options required significantly more miles. In the interactive tool, I also found the "see more dates" option to be extremely glitchy and not pull up a calendar of options — for multiple destinations searched.

There were also other limitations to the tool. Unlike a revenue search, you can't put in specific dates. You also only see prices for flights operated by United and United Express — not partner award availability — which significantly decreases your options. With partner awards requiring fewer miles at times, this means you could potentially pay more if you limit yourself to only relying on this tool.

Related: Your ultimate guide to United Airlines partners

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Bottom line

This is a welcome addition to the United website. Not only can you search a broad range of revenue flights from a single departing destination, you can now also see where your miles can take you if you are open to many different destinations.

With that being said, I'd love to see more options added to the tool. First off, I wish I could enter specific dates or at least a date range. I'd also like to be able to enter the number of award seats required. Since I often travel with my family, finding only one or two seats available using miles can be a deal breaker. And while my family doesn't sit up in the front of the plane typically, I know many United travelers would love to see an option where they can filter for business or first-class seats and not be limited to the cheapest award pricing (which is typically in economy).

Being able to search for just nonstop awards would be incredibly helpful too — as would the ability to enter a maximum travel time or limit your number of stops. A 19-hour itinerary from Boston to Lisbon isn't happening, regardless of the number of miles required.

Overall though, having a tool to play around with is better then nothing at all. And hopefully over time, the tool will evolve to add new features and capabilities.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more